Mona Lisa Sound

MusicJOT® for iOS® Coming Soon!

The fastest way to notate music since paper and pencil.

  • Overview
  • Media
  • Features
  • Panels
  • Tech Specs
  • Tutorials
  • About Us
  • Support

MusicJOT® is a music notation iPad app that combines palette selection entry with natural handwriting

A full-featured notation app that lets you compose naturally just as you would with paper and pencil using state-of-the art handwriting recognition technology, MusicJOT recognizes most music symbols used in standard notation.

In addition to natural handwriting, a palette interface technology provides all the features you expect from a desktop music notation program on iOS.

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Write with your finger, a stylus or use the palettes

Write in you own handwritting using your finger or a stylus (recommended). Powered by MyScript® and the MusicJOT® music engine, your handwriting will be recognized and rendered.

If you use a stylus, MusicJOT is already set up to take full advantage of the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro and Adonit Jot Touch with an interface to allow customization of the styluses behavior including settings for righties and lefties.

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Virtual Pointer™

MusicJOT's Virtual Pointer lets you get the precision of a stylus with just your finger. Drag the VP around, and the score under the pointer gets magnified. You can tap to select and insert notes and it will sound the note you are over and display its name and octave.

The pointer can be set to sound single notes, whole chords or scrub your entire score.

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Layers and Quick Options

Slide a drawer out from the left side for easy access to often used options. In addition, you can show/hide various score elements with layers. Very handy in removing clutter when you just want to concentrate on the music.

Quickly transpose notes up/down by octave, turn notes into rests and back again, add ties, common 8th note triplets, and the most often used forward/backward repeat pair.

Show/hide notes, text, lyrics, shapes (such as slurs, hairpins, accelerandos, ottava signs, etc.), and expressions.

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MusicJOT has a complete menu of actions

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..and options.

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Advanced Settings

MusicJOT is completely customizable. From staff line weight to measure padding to beam angles to music spacing. Make your own house rules.

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MusicJOT video (6:47)

Here's a short demonstration of MusicJOT in action.

MusicJOT In Action

Basic features


  • Natural Handwriting Recognition
  • Export to MusicXML
  • Export to MIDI
  • Staffs limited only by memory
  • 128 General MIDI sounds
  • Cut, copy, paste, undo and redo


  • Unlimited view sizes
  • Live spacing
  • Go to measure #
  • Change music spacing


  • Drag up/down for pitch
  • Drag left/right for duration
  • Double flats to double sharps
  • Grace notes
  • Half step transpositions
  • Octave transpositions
  • Tuplets

Dynamics (playback enabled)

  • Crescendo, decrescendo
  • ppp - fff, sfz, fp

Tempos (playback enabled)

  • Tempo text
  • Font, size, style
  • Beats per note duration

Clefs, keys, meters

  • Change selected only
  • Change selected to next change
  • Change selected to end
  • Mid-measure clef changes
  • Keys transpose up, down or none
  • Measure duration clipping
  • Automatic transpositions


  • Free form text
  • Placement - above/below staff
  • Border option for rehearsal letters
  • Font, size, style

Articulations & Ornaments

  • Staccato
  • Marcato
  • Accent
  • Tenuto
  • Harmonic
  • Left hand pizzicato
  • Fermata
  • Up and down bows
  • Roll chord
  • Turn
  • Mordent
  • Trill
  • Trill flat
  • Trill natural
  • Trill sharp
  • Cesura
  • Breath
  • Pedal on/off
  • L.H.
  • R.H.
  • Roman numerals (I - V)
  • Numbers (0 - 5)


  • Glissando
  • Bend hat
  • Tie
  • Slur
  • 8va, 8vb
  • 15ma, 15mb
  • Accelerando/Ritardando


  • Free, verse, chorus of unlimited number
  • Auto flow into score
  • Duplicate
  • Find in score
  • Span notes, group words, melismas


  • Notes
  • Marks
  • Shapes
  • Text
  • Lyrics


  • Normal, double, solid, dotted, final
  • Repeats (playback enabled)
  • Show repeat map
  • Backwards, forwards, 1st and 2nd endings
  • DC, DS, Del Segno, Coda, Finé

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Advanced features

Illegal Measure Buttons

MusicJOT allows you to compose freely without meter restrictions, but will indicate measures that are not meter compliant in duration by placing a small not equal (illegal measure) button in measures that do not comply. To fix a measure automatically, just tap the button. MusicJOT will either truncate or add rests to the measure.

Layers and Options Drawer

Placing your finger on the bevel of the iPad just to the left of the screen and quickly dragging to the left will bring up the layers and quick options window. Here you'll find some often used options. Here you can also show/hide various musical elements.

Virtual Pointer

If you don't have a stylus, the virtual pointer is a neat way to select interior chordal notes or notes that are just very close together. In addition, the VP acts as a live music scrubber, sounding individual notes, chords, or the entire score.

Visual Road Map

If you have a complicated repeat structure in your score (1st and 2nd endings, del segnos, etc.) the repeat map window shows how the score will play according to your repeat structure. You can tap on any line in the map window and the relevant measures will be highlighted in the measure bar.

Help System

MusicJOT has a 10 step tutorial and a context sensitive reference manual.

Playback Supported Events

Currently, MusicJOT supports playback of the basic dynamics (ppp - fff) and tempo markings. Future enhancements are planned.

Music Spacing

MusicJOT uses a sophisticated algorithm for spacing music which can be adjusted to suit. Rotating two fingers on the score allows you to expand or tighten the spacing.

Transposing Instruments

All of the standard instrument transpositions are included. Under the actions menu:Options:Transposing Instruments, you will find additional controls for both displaying and inserting in concert pitch.

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Context Sensitive Menus and Modification Panels

Tap on any element in your score brings up a context sensitive menu at the bottom of the screen.

Long press on any element in your score brings up a modification panel for notes, lyrics, whole measures, clefs, expressions and handwriting.

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Computer system requirements.

Below are the minimum hardware and operating system requirements for MusicJOT for iOS.


Apple iOS 8 or higher

Apple iPad

iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Retina, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro

Optional Accessories

Apple Pencil, Adonit Jot Touch (active stylus), or any passive stylus

Getting Started

Ten very short tutorials to get you started. These tutorials are also always available from within MusicJOT, so if you forget how to do something, help is right at your fingertips. In addition to tutorials, MusicJOT features a context sensitive help system.

Creating a new score
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John Reed

Professional cellist, co-founder and principal arranger for Grammy® nominated, Juilliard trained, The Hampton [Rock] String Quartet® (HSQ). HSQ has sold over 1 million CDs worldwide and their rock video, Get A Job was aired on MTV and VH1. HSQ arrangements have been played around the world and featured on the hit HBO series True Blood. HSQ has performed on The Today Show and numerous radio and TV spots from NYC to Liverpool. The members of HSQ have performed with Depeche Mode at Madison Square Garden and *NSYNC at Radio City Music Hall for the 2000 MTV Awards, as well as with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Sting, Paul Simon, and Aerosmith, to name just a few.

John is the founder and president of Mona Lisa Sound (MLS), Past President of the String Industry Council and Past Board Member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). MLS is the premier source for rock string quartet sheet music. John has written over 100 string quartet arrangements.

John has been a computer programmer since 1979 (self-taught) and is the principal developer and programmer for MusicJOT®.

Mark Dalrymple

Software developer and instructor, author of Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide.

Mark is also an accomplished trombone and bassoon player and plays with many groups.

Mark has been programming since 1979, and professionally since 1990. He has had software running on Wall Street trading desks and in space (literally). NASA was running a trial program for an electronic help desk using Visix Galaxy™. Mark wrote some of that code. His code can also be found on millions of Mac desktops.

He is a co-founder of CocoaHeads, an international Mac and iOS developers society, with chapters in 40 countries spanning six continents.


Special thanks to Adam Coti for his expertise in templating this site for me and thanks to Janna Glasser for putting up with my ups and downs through this long haul. I also want to thank Fred Flowerday and everyone at MakeMusic for granting us use of their beautiful Maestro® music font. And of course, thanks to our friends at MyScript® for making awesome handwriting recognition technology.

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Maestro © 1999 MakeMusic, Inc. All rights reserved. Maestro is a trademark of MakeMusic, Inc.
MyScript © 2014.


Q: MusicJOT is either not recognizing, or misinterpreting what I've written.

A: Try zooming in on the score before starting in Script mode and write as neatly as possible.

Q: I don't see a way to print my score.

A: Print is coming soon. The workflow in MusicJOT should follow thus: compose your music, export to a MIDI or MusicXML file, then bring it into a desktop music notation program (we recommend Finale by MakeMusic) and use their printing capabilities.

Q: I don't see a way to have more than one voice per staff as is common in piano music.

A: Multiple voices per staff is not yet supported but is a top priority for our next release.

Q: Is there a way to delete a note with my handwriting by just crossing stuff out?

A: Yes. Scribble out a note to delete. You can also draw a big circle around note/events (circle must extend both above and below the staff), then tap on delete in the context sensitive menu at the bottom. If you are using the Adonit Stylus Jot Touch, you can use the top button (configurable in the Actions menu:Script:Configure Adonit Jot Stylus.

Q: Moving the virtual pointer over a note is slow in sounding.

A: On some iPad models this is a known issue. Turning off 'Edits Sound' in the left slide out drawer will speed things up considerably.

Q: I can't slide out the layers and options drawer.

A: You may be placing your finger to far off the bevel or dragging to the right too slowly.

Known issues

Copy and paste will only paste into empty measures or at the end of existing measures. We are working on much more sophisticated copy and paste.

Future support for guitar tablature or chord diagrams is planned.

Future support for percussion notation is planned.

Accidentals can sometimes collide in dense chords. We are working on this.

Deleting or adding measures with a complicated set of repeats in place is not updating the repeat map. After measure deletions and additions, you will have to reselect each 'jumper' type of repeat and reset its target.

Future support for measure-attached text is planned.

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While we are working hard to improve MusicJOT's handwriting recognition, this first version has some known limitations.


Writing a natural before a note that already has an accidental will have no effect. Instead, scratch out the existing accidental.

Key signature changes are recognized more reliably if put before a meter change.

Staccato dots should be put near the note head. If you put them above the stem instead, they will be interpreted as a duration dot.

Mid measure clefs cannot exist without any notes following them. Therefore, you may write a clef change in between existing notes or any place as long as you also write a new note after the clef.

The scratch-out gesture should look like an 'M' with extra down and up strokes and with sharp corners.

Articulations (staccatos, accents, etc.) cannot be scratched out (deleted) except with the trash can in Insert/Chord mode.

Trying to add a flag or beam to already rendered notes will not have the desired effect. In effect, pre-existing notes can only be changed by adding accidentals, ornaments, articulations, slurs, etc., but not changing their durations except with a duration dot.

Currently can't scratch out key signatures or individual sharps/flats in a key signature.

Bar lines and repeats are not yet supported and could lead to document confusion.

Tuplets not yet fully supported.

Chord promotion - adding a new note to a single, already rendered note is not yet supported. If the 'slot' already is a chord, i.e. - has more than one note, than MusicJOT will allow you to add additional notes in scripting mode.